Monday, March 8, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou Swoonette?

OK, so I have definitely been significantly missing from the blogosphere recently... for which I wanted to apologize. As you all know my creative inspirations tend to come in spurts. I can go great lengths of time with none, or I can have 20 different ideas come at me all at once! Right now my inspirations are lacking. However, I wanted to let you know where I am using them... and it's on a whole new blog redesign!! I've decided it's finally time to switch over to Wordpress (and to check out all of the glorious things it has to offer). So I've been a busy little bee attempting to code up a snazzy new look for Swoonette over there! It's not ready, nor will it be for probably a bit longer, but I did make a good chunk of progress this weekend. And so in honor of the new design, and this gorgeous sunny weather, I thought I would share with you the pretty picture that is inspiring the new Swoonette look!

Photo taken from The Sweetest Occasion. I saw this featured wedding, and knew right away that these cheery colors were the way I needed to go!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rain Boots

I LOVE rain boots! The more colorful, the better. And now that the NYC snow has started to melt, and the sidewalks have turned to piles of dirty slushy mush, I have been wearing my rain boots on a nearly daily basis. There is just something about seeing a pair of brightly colored boots on a gross gray day that somehow seems to make it all better! So hopefully this roundup of colorful boots (all via Flickr) will be enough to bring a little sunshine into your day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paper Garlands

Recently I've been totally crushing on paper garlands. I'm not really sure why, and I'm not really sure what I'd actually do with one. However, with all that said and done, I'm pretty sure at some point in the near future I'll find myself sitting at my sewing machine, with a stack of paper scraps, whipping one up! There is something so whimsical and delicate about them... and they are just so beautiful in their simplicity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sheets For Molly

My friend Molly recently asked me to help her gather up some ideas for some much needed new sheets. Her bedding is mostly earth tones: reds, browns, dark oranges, and occasionally hints of green. Needless to say I couldn't resist, and I put together a little roundup of bedding I think will fit her color scheme quite nicely! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog It Forward: What Inspires Me

I can't believe it's finally my turn to post for the "Blog it Forward" mashup, and I somehow managed to get myself sandwiched in between two pretty awesome blogs, Sweet Sassafras (who blogged on Friday), and Sycamore Street Press (who blogs tomorrow)! It's been pretty amazing to read all the inspirational posts so far, and it's definitely a nice way to start the day, so without further ado here is what inspires me. 

For me, inspiration comes in spurts. It's not a steady stream of consciousness running in the back of my head. It's not dependable, and I can't call upon it whenever I need a little extra push. It's like lightning. It strikes at random and without much warning, and it leaves my senses tingling. It excites me, and moves me, and fills me up so much I feel like I could burst. But just as quickly as it comes, it also then sadly slips away, and I question when the next wave of inspiration will hit. I am not an artist. I am not focussed. My mind wanders, and with it so does my creativity. I dabble here, and I dabble there. But each time I express this creative side of myself I allow my mind to grow just a little bit more. Creativity is my love... my passion. The things that inspire me weave in and out of my life, touching my soul, allowing me to expand my creative canvas, and leaving me fulfilled and content. There is not just one thing that inspires me, and there is not just one part of my soul that is affected. With each strike of my inspirational lightning a different part of my being is awakened, and allowed a chance to take flight.

  • I am inspired and fascinated by the ever changing beauty of the ocean. The sand surrounds me in a comforting blanket, while the music of the water sets me free and let's me get lost in the moment. Together they wash away my worries, and cleanse my soul. 
  • Nothing is more perfect or inspiring then natural light. The way the sun (or even the moon) can dance across a surface, and play with the air, makes me strive to stretch my creativity in order to capture it, and its essence. 
  • My pets inspire me to pursue my love of photography. Even though animals can not talk and can not smile, they can love. They can love unconditionally, and without expectations, and my camera allows me to capture this love. 
  • My mom, my Mummy, inspires me in ways I can not even express. She continually offers me never ending love and support, and is truly my best friend. She is always there for me when I need her, whether it is to celebrate in joy and happiness, or it is to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, and attempt to mend them back together. She is always inspiring me to be a better version of myself. 
  • With his Top Chef worthy skills and passion, my dad inspires me to cook... when nobody is looking. He inspires me to stretch my DIY wings, and allows me to explore my every artistic whim and fancy. He influences my passions in ways that he doesn't even know, or realize. 
  • Project Runway inspires me to whip out my sewing machine. It only takes me viewing one episode for me to think that I can be the next sewing genius... forget what a whole marathon can do to me! Sewing aside though, and this show is forever inspiring me to whip up something fun and crafty.
  • The kiddos in my life (not my own... I was a nanny) are a constant reminder to me at how quickly time passes. They inspire me to enjoy all the small things in life, stopping every now and again to take it all in, and allowing my heart to fill up with love. {In addition to the kiddos, my friend Wendy is also very good at inspiring me to have this same attitude, and her words always make such a lovely lasting impression on me.} 
  • The people I care about inspire me to write, by fueling the emotions that allow my words to come to life with such passion and meaning.
Inspiration is different for everyone, and even though many of us are inspired by the same types of things, it is the way that we each personally see them that makes them unique, and makes them special to us. Now in the spirit of the mashup, and the blogging community, please be sure to check out the other wonderful posts that will be inspiring the blogosphere today (A Diary of Lovely, Bread of Many, Darcy Rogers, Green Chair Studio, La Dolce Vita, Mocking Bird, Paper and Thread, Seek & Find Design and The Yellow House in The U), and don't forget to check out Sycamore Street Press when she blogs it forward tomorrow! AND I also just want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone for stopping by today, and for reading about what inspires me. I hope you all have a lovely and inspiration filled day!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Little One"

I'm currently in a deep photo hunt, searching out pictures to use in my mashup post for Monday. I want to use only my own photos, so I am frantically searching through my computer in hopes of finding enough pictures to make my post as visually pleasing as I hope it will be verbally. In my hunt I came across one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE photos, and since it never fails to make me smile, I wanted to share it with the rest of you!

"Little One" Hawaii 2005. If you look really closely in the left lens of my sunglasses you can see me, my glass of wine, and my camera...which in my mind make this picture even more swoon worthy... the camera and the wine that is!

The Sweeterie

The "Blog it Forward" mashup has started, and it is happily leaving bits and pieces of delightful inspiration everywhere! Quite honestly, it's sort of a force to be reckoned with! It's amazing to be given little glimpses into these ladies lives in such a personal way... through what inspires them the most. And personally right now, I'm rather enjoying what other people have to share, then attempting to use my own creativity, so today I just wanted to share with you this really sweet little blog I recently stumbled upon, T.ruffles. It's ridiculously sweet and simple, yet oh so complex and inspiring, and it sums up what blogging is really all about... community. You see T.ruffles is a blog between two "imaginary friends." Mary opens up the day with an absolutely stunning photograph, and Karey (who I also just discovered is in the mashup... eek... yay!) closes out the day with some very heartfelt words to accompany said photograph. For me, this blog is a match made in heaven, and not just because of the way that their words and photos compliment each other so well, but because it combines two things I hold near and dear to my heart... photography and writing. On a side note, I actually attempted a project like this myself in college, when for my final photo class assignment I combined my own photography with some of my own quick little poetry bits. Needless to say these ladies do a MUCH better job than that old project of mine, but the sentiment is the same! So if you have a few extra minutes in your day, I strongly suggest you take a peek into The Sweeterie that is T.ruffles, it's well worth the trip! And if you need a little teaser of their goodness, check out this great sample below (I found this one totally fitting for my life since 98% of my emails start out this way these days!). 

Photo from T.ruffles

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh And P.S.

I have totally failed to mention that the "Blog it Forward" mashup starts TOMORROW!! Be sure to check out the schedule, and be prepared for plenty of inspiring posts! Since there is a total of 300 (yup 300!) bloggers participating in this crazy adventure it will be kicking off on 10 different blogs (Creature Comforts, Design for Mankind, Heart Fish, Hula Seventy, ink on my fingers, oh, hello friend, the paper pony, Poppytalk, sfgirlbybay and Smile and Wave). My post will be coming to you on Monday the 15th, and you should also be sure to check out my friend Elizabeth's post (of Beer Barn fame!) when it hits on Wednesday the 24th... it will be featured on her new craftalicious blog Button & Bean!

And p.s. sorry for all the link madness in this post! I just needed to make sure everyone got credit where credit was due!

Do Brides Have More Fun?

I'm currently convinced that brides have more fun... well more design fun that is! I could be completely wrong about this, having never actually been a bride I don't really know. However, my stints as a bridesmaid did allow me to get my feet wet in the world of wedding planning, and I must say the design lover in me enjoyed every minute of it! It seems like every time I turn around these days there is a new wedding magazine or blog popping onto the scene, and of course all are filled with countless pieces of design inspiration to share. And while I am nowhere near becoming a bride (I'd have to find that special Mr. Someone first!), I can't help but drool over all the amazing pictures that fill these blogs and magazines. Even though these things are being written with brides and weddings in mind, they are still able to provide plenty of design inspirations that can be applied anywhere. So instead of thinking bridal when I look at these things, I instead think how can I translate the ideas and design elements into something that can work for my everyday life, whether it be in fashion, in my house, or something else all together. So be sure to check out some of the blogs and magazines listed below for some beautiful bits of design inspiration... and on the upside, you'll get to leave all the stress of wedding planning to someone else! Hope you enjoy! All photos are from their associated websites.

The Cool New Kid On The Block:
Nonpareil is a brand spanking new e-zine that is already garnering lots of love and attention in the blogosphere, and even though they only have one issue under their belt, they have already outdone themselves with beautiful imagery and plenty of inexpensive DIY projects!

The Tried And True Elegant Standby:
Martha Stewart Weddings is pretty much any bride's bible. This magazine is filled with a little of this and a little of that, but it packs a whole lot of wow and glamour. And with an equally fabulous website, now anyone can have a little touch of Martha on their special day!

The Cult Classic:
Style Me Pretty is an absolutely phenomenal blog, filled with endless awe inspiring photography, and oodles of real weddings. While most posts "feature" a specific vendor, the focus is always on the absolutely stunning pieces that come together to make a truly personal, special, and lovely day.

The Unattainable Crush:
Utterly Engaged is like that high-school crush you admired from afar: simply stunning, can do no wrong, and absolutely perfect! This e-zine is filled to the brim with the most amazing styling ever seen, and since it covers all different aspects of planning a wedding there is truly something for everyone. 

The Sophisticated Girl Next Door:
100 Layer Cake is a lovely blog bursting with beauty and style, and with plenty of DIY tutorials and mood boards, there is plenty of eye candy to inspire your every whim and fancy. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Windows To My Soul

The windows to my soul, well not exactly. However, the windows to my bedroom are finally dressed, and ready to show themselves off, and I've officially closed the books on this project! In the past months I've: changed out the curtains twice; spackled the sills and painted them white; tore open the plaster on the sills, patched them back up, and painted them gray; hung and rehung the curtain rods at least 20 different times; added curtain tie backs, only to decide I preferred none; continually patched and re-patched all the holes I made, not to mention sanded and painted each of these patched holes; and traveled up and down the ladder one too many times. The windows now each have one set of blinds on them, and a floor length curtain... and I'm finally happy with them!

When I moved in I inherited the rather awkward "curtains" pictured on the left. They weren't really curtains, but they were pieces of ugly fish fabric, with holes cut in the top to fit a curtain rod. My first attempt at painting and patching up the uneven sills was a bust, and unfortunately required a second round of DIY fun!

I guess I should probably mention that attempt number two was probably required due to my tendency to poke and prod at chipping paint and bubbling plaster, but oh well. And now in an attempt to distract you from this fact... doesn't that bucket of plaster just look like so much fun to play in... kind of like marshmallow fluff... but not as tasty!

And finally the completed project! The blinds cover up the lumpiness of the quicky fix it job I did, and in the end I actually think that all the plaster I had to slap back up on the sills made them sturdy enough to hold the blinds in place (I am keeping my fingers crossed they don't fall out though, just in case!). 

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of Muffins

I'm seriously craving muffins right now! I'm not quite sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I've been a total slacker in the breakfast department recently, and this is SO NOT good. So I hit up the grocery store today, made sure to stock up on a couple key ingredients (butter, flour, sugar), and now I'm ready to bake up a storm, and fulfill my muffin dreams! I'll leave you with these lovely images, and perhaps it will spark some muffin obsessions of your own!

Blog Mashup

Ugh... sigh... hmph. So unfortunately the babysitting job that I had set up for this week fell through at the last moment, as the family decided to cancel, and have some friend watch their children instead. Again, ugh... sigh... hmph. With that said, I do get to bring you the details of the special blog project (the one I hinted at on Friday) all that much earlier!

Before I give you the details though, let me quickly give you the back story as to how this project was born (this is my favorite part!). I happened to be cruising through Twitter-land when I stumbled upon sfgirlbybay's brainstorming session on how to spread the blog love. She and some friends of hers were throwing ideas back and forth on how to incorporate each other's blogs in a new and fresh way. Immediately thoughts of music mashups and crossover TV shows popped into my head. I mustered up 140 characters of courage, and replied to her tweet for help with this:  "a sort of blog mashup! Or like when TV shows collide, you could start a post on one blog, only to have it end on another..." Somehow this was immediately responded to, people clapped, and the "Blog it Forward" mashup was born. It all happened rather fast (thanks social media!), and now I can't wait to read all the posts that will be gracing the blogosphere in the upcoming months. 

And now for the actual "Blog it Forward" mashup details! Be sure to check out sfgirlbybay's post, because she is the amazing lady in charge of this huge project (not to mention she has graciously taken on all the organizing). But basically, if you blog, you are more than welcome to join the mashup! We are all going to be writing about what inspires us, so no matter what type of blog you have the theme will remain consistent. Should you choose to join, just be sure to email Victoria at sfgirlbybay no later then Friday of this week. After that just sit back and take it all in!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Stay Tuned

So I'm not quite sure where exactly this day has gone, and I truly need to go be more productive, because quite honestly the only "real" things I've accomplished thus far have been: showering, moving my car to a new space and back again for street cleaning, and successfully securing a temporary babysitting job for Monday-Thursday of next week. However, I wanted to quickly introduce you all to a fun new project that's brewing out in blog land. The lovely Victoria over at sfgirlbybay is organizing this whole BIG event, and she'll be kicking off the project on her blog sometime in February. It will be a way for ANY and ALL bloggers to come together and really embrace each other, and the blogging community (so my fellow blogger friends, if the fancy strikes you once you hear the details, be sure to sign up)! I am SUPER EXCITED about this project, so be sure to check back next week when I'll reveal to you all the real details! In the meantime I will leave you with this AMAZING mashup by DJ Earworm (which may or may not be a small clue to the new blog project)!

United State of Pop 2009 Mashup - "Blame it on the Pop," and be sure to check out the original from 2007, it's my personal fave! 

I Changed My Mind

Okay, so I've changed my mind, and hopefully you all won't mind. I've decided that the original lineup for Swoonette, the one that I so carefully thought out, just isn't working for me. I'm sure this probably comes as no shock since the only day I actually ever hold myself to is Wednesdays. However, even the past few roundups haven't exactly fit into the mold of my original description, and thoughts on what The Wonderful Wednesday Roundup would be. So anyway, from now on things will be a little different, but hopefully still just as lovely and enjoyable. I much prefer blogging "on the fly," and when the whimsy strikes me. Holding myself to a schedule for blogging is clearly NOT working! From now on I'll simply post whatever and whenever. It will still be the same stuff, just hopefully more of it, and more often... and hopefully a bit better! So even though I'm scratching that original lineup off the list, I'm still thinking more design inspirations, more of my swoonettes, and more of The Apartment (obviously!) are in store for you all! In addition I'm also thinking of adding in a few "extra" things, but we'll see! I still plan on doing roundups, because I really enjoy that aspect of the original lineup (maybe they just won't be on Wednesdays, and maybe they just won't be about design related things). And also, once I eventually find my way back to Photoshop (it's gone missing in all my computer drama) I'll be bringing back my favorite color combos, mood boards included. Soooo that is all my friends, I'm not going anywhere, but I am hoping to be a bit of a better blogger for my own personal sake! Thank you to everyone for reading, and always being so supportive and kind with your blog love and comments, I appreciate it always!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Under The Milky Way

I've been swooning over Sia's cover of "Under the Milky Way" (originally by The Church) for MONTHS, thanks to this car commercial below, AND now it is finally available to buy on iTunes (hooray)!

The car does nothing for me, but I do think that the way the music shows it off in the commercial is sort of amazing. Personally I think commercials are one of the best ways to discover new music... in addition to such guilty pleasures such as "The Hills" and "Laguna Beach" (not like I know that from personal experience or anything though... hehehe, yeah right). 

Kiddo Art

Coffee, coffee, coffee. I am one of those people that needs to have at least one cup of coffee a day or it's not a pretty sight, okay so it is usually more like two (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon), but that's beside the point. I never used to be like this, but over the years coffee just sort of snowballed into this necessity of life for me... I blame college. Anyway, where I was going with this was that today I had to go out for my coffee, as I was out of cream AND milk (I don't like black coffee). On my way back from the coffee shop I strolled past a group of kiddos waiting to be picked up from school, and it made me miss my kiddos, and our little school pick-up routine (for those of you who don't actually know me, I used to be a nanny, I don't actually have any kids of my own!). Then I remembered that I had this wonderful piece of kiddo art tucked away, and bringing it out was just the little pick me up that I needed to put a smile back on my face. There is just something so sweet and simple about kid's artwork, it sort of melts my heart. I love the way they come up to you, grinning from ear to ear and holding this piece of paper in their tiny little clenched hands (so as not to let it drop and get ruined), and then they excitedly utter those special words "I drew this for you." Yeah, I pretty much turn to mush right there, and for an instant I always feel like THE most important person in the world. It's really instant happiness!

My portrait drawn by my favorite 4 year old (looks just like me, right?!?)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clever Animal Valentines

I'm a huge animal lover, so here are a few more (very clever) valentines to finish up the roundup!

Etsy Valentines

So in case you hadn't guessed it, this week's roundup is valentines! And of course there is no better place to go when hunting down the cute and handmade than Etsy! Needless to say there were oodles and oodles of adorable valentines to chose from, but I picked a sampling of my personal faves, and then I broke them down into two groups to share with you all!

First up is the not so girly (i.e. not smothered in pink and red, and oozing with hearts) group. Because quite honestly I sometimes think that "typical" valentines are a little vomit inducing (if you know what I mean), all that mush and gush, and lace, and blah blah blah. I much prefer things that are a little quirky and different, because it's about the sentiment, and letting someone know that you care, and that doesn't need to be said with red and pink and all things tacky! 

Top to Bottom, and Left to Right: PaperMichelle, perfect dressipe, imeondesign, Storeyshop (I of course being the Facebook junkie that I am was drawn to this valentine, but she tons of other great "I love you more than..." cards in her shop), Alf, Persimmons

The second group is indeed the girly group, because let's face it I'm a girl, and I like the romantic sentiment behind Valentine's Day. However, these valentine's are far from tacky, and even though they are littered with shades of pink, they are sweet and classy.

Clockwise from Top Left: Flapper Doodle, sarah jane, Mew, Pinecone and Lola